Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Our Fairytale

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Once upon a Time...

There was a young girl in high school with lots of plans for her future. She was going to major in Music Theatre, be a member of  BYU's performing group, The Young Embassadors, go to BYU's Jerusalem Center in Israel, get her Bachelor's degree, and by then maybe young men would notice her and she'd get to fulfill her lifelong dream of being a wife and mother.

And until graduation in the Spring, she would fill her schedule with choir classes, drama classes, and participate in every play she could.

My High School Senior Photo

At the same time, there was a handsome young man just finishing up his service as an LDS missionary. His plans included immediately returning to Ricks College-- though with a change in majors. Where he had been a computer science major before his mission, thanks to the influence of a great, musical family he met on his mission, he would now focus on Music Theatre. Other hopes involved a cute daughter in the musical family...

Russell, on a mission hike, at the top of the Superstition Mountains

The young man had special permission from his mission president to end his mission a bit early, in order to attend college at the beginning of the semester. His paperwork was all in order, his classes were chosen, and he was ready to go. He returned home with honor...

BUT. Just before arriving home, he found that the school had lost his registration. He would NOT be starting school at the beginning of the semester.

Now what?

He decided to kill some time in between working and waiting for school to start, and actually try out this "music theatre thing" for real-- see if he really liked it.

Coincidentally, the little community where he lived announced auditions for it's yearly musical show, produced by his local, tiny high school.

My Fair Lady

The young lady had just been cast as "Jack's Mother" in the musical "Into the Woods"-- which was not her first choice of role. And in her Drama II class, she had snagged the role of the lead (Dolly Levi) in the play "The Matchmaker."

BUT. Her dear friend, Krisalyn and her friend's mother, Shari, were going to audition for My Fair Lady in a little town south of theirs. (In fact, Shari-- the girl's music mentor and teacher for years-- was the show's music director.) Would she like to join them in another show?

Uh, YEAH. Of course!

Yet the young lady's dad was worried about all the driving and going. Why did she want to be in another play?!

But the young lady was determined. She had wanted to join her friends in these small town shows for years, and now that she was a senior in high school, it just might be her last chance.

Interestingly, while she was negotiating with her father, a little voice in her heart was saying "This is a big decision. If you do this now, it will change the course of your entire life." 

She brushed it off, thinking "What could possibly happen in that little town?" 

She would soon find out.
Rehearsals Begin...

The production of "My Fair Lady" was in full swing. Both the young man and the young lady had small roles-- he as the Footman, she as Maid #2-- and filling in chorus numbers, as well. As a result, they each spent lots of time waiting for their turn to be onstage.

The young lady had noticed the quiet, mysterious returned missionary right away. He was awfully handsome and had a beautiful tenor voice. But the girl knew that she was silly, a bit boy-crazy, and that she was chubbier than her lovely friends. She was nervous, but determined to find out more about this young man. So she bravely left the company of her friends to approach him as he sat alone.

Their first conversation lasted longer than she had expected. He surprised her by opening up about how he missed the city of his mission, and how strange it was to be home and back in a family dynamic.

Amazingly, she didn't say too much. She listened with rapt attention, surprised that he was talking to her.

And so they became friends. He even asked her to be his dance partner on one number. But she was falling in love with him, all while he was oblivious to her, romantically.

And yet she was nervous about the fact that she was still in high school, and he was a 21 year old returned missionary. Everyone knows that returned missionaries are counseled to find a spouse as soon as they can. She was NOT looking to get married anytime soon. She had plans, remember?

Being Friends...

Soon they were spending lots of time with each other and all their friends in the show almost every day. (That's how rehearsals work.) And then, one day he asked her out on a date.

Her first, honest-to-goodness, un-arranged-by-friends, HE-asked DATE.

They saw a movie (My Girl), went dancing, and talked and talked and talked. But it was more than crystal clear that he was not interested in being any more than friends.

After he took her home, she firmly proclaimed to her mother, "Don't worry, Mom. I won't marry him."

And Then One Day...

... Out of the blue, (The very next week, in fact!) he approached her in the middle of rehearsal, eased his arm around her shoulders, and asked "So what are we doing this weekend?"

She was astonished! And speechless. She fumbled around in her mind, thinking about all the things on her busy calendar. Finally, she told him about her first cousin's wedding reception that weekend. Would he like to join her for that?

He agreed.

And she was confused.

My uncle, my grandpa, me, and Russell

They had a great time at the reception, and he suggested they go back to his house to watch a video. But in her nervousness, she asked her two other cousins to come with them. (Hi Tylynn and Michelle! Only one of them came with us.) She was still not sure that he was actually interested in her, and she was also still nervous about the whole "returned missionary thing."

Throughout the evening he made it clear to her that he was, indeed, interested. In her. Romantically.

She and her cousin stayed late, past her curfew. But she didn't care. Something big was happening.

At my high school's prom

Trials and Tribulations...

In no time at all, they were "a couple," holding hands and spending even more time together. But there was something that was still unresolved between them. Remember that cute girl in the musical family from his mission? He still had a bus ticket to go see her and find out if there was anything to his plans after his mission.

The heroine of our tale was scared. She didn't want to have her heart broken. But she also didn't want him to always be wondering about the other young lady. She knew he had to go. So she made him a big batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies for the trip (she was a bit crafty, after all) and agreed to meet him at the end of one of her performances of "Into the Woods."

And then, she waited.

And he returned. He met her at the stage door after her performance. With a single red rose.

Everything was going to be just fine-- or so they thought.

After a long drive to his house one day, they talked about marriage. They were soon officially engaged.

She was still worried about being so young. But later, one chilly April night, he took her to the temple grounds by the river for a walk. As they sat in the moonlight, he quietly pointed to the temple and said, "I want to take you there."

She stared at him in shock. He was echoing some of the words from her own patriarchal blessing. And then she was sure that this was right. And this was real. She knew that he was the one she never thought would come into her life so soon.

But then the real opposition reared its ugly head. Her parents were not happy about how young she was. What about all her well-laid plans? She was only seventeen! Her friends thought she was crazy.

But she loved him. She was a responsible, strong, mature young lady. (She thought so, anyway.) She was spiritually prepared. And all her really important dreams were coming true.

Just sooner than she expected.

Graduated and Engaged

And so...

The happy couple set their wedding date for December. She had already paid her housing down payment, after all, and she wanted to try living on her own before getting married. He gulped and agreed to wait until then.

Luckily, her wise grandmother took our heroine's mother aside and told her that December was too long to wait-- August would work just fine.

The couple happily agreed.

They were married for time and for all eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on August 14th, 1992.

Their biggest, brightest, greatest dreams were coming true. So, of course...

They lived happily ever after! 

 This post is part of a Wordfull Wednesday link-up hosted by Chocolate on my Cranium. Share your love story and link up your post!


  1. I loved the way you wrote your 'fairytale!' And see some similarities to our own. =)

  2. So cute! Thanks for sharing. I bet it's fun that both of you are interested in musical theater. The Lord truly has plans for us- it just takes us awhile to come around to them, doesn't it?

  3. Thanks, ladies!

    And Holly, the funny thing is, soon after we were married, he lost his interest in Music Theatre and went back to computers.

    Funny, huh? :-D

  4. Oh, and Cocoa:

    I, too have noticed the fun similarities in our stories. I'm betting we could have a LOT to talk about! (My husband jokes that he finished raising me. And it's pretty true. LOL!)


  5. Funny how small decisions can change our lives. We moved our wedding forward also. My mom said 3 months was a long enough engagement, so we moved it from May to March. She was a smart woman. Thank you for sharing your story. It was wonderful.

  6. Wonderful story, thanks for sharing.

  7. What a beautiful story! And, now you get to use all those amazing talents with music with your family and others in so many small but important ways...

    It is so neat to see how things fell into place so that you two could get married. I'll bet your children were busy little angels putting all of THAT together! :)

  8. my favorite thing about you getting married so young was the "slumber party wedding shower." and the fact that you were the only one there that wasn't old enough to buy a lottery ticket!! so funny to think of now!

  9. Nicole: Thank goodness the mature women in our lives were looking out for us, right?

    Amy: Thanks for reading and commenting! :-)

    Misty: Your comment made me smile from ear to ear! I can just see all my kids conspiring and working to get us together. :-D

    Tricia: That was such a funny bridal shower! I'm so glad we all got together that one last time before graduation. (Although you know me! I wouldn't have bought a lottery ticket if I could have! :-p)

    Oh, and Tricia: I want to read YOUR love story! I don't know much about it at all! ;-D

  10. What a fun post. I enjoyed reading more about you. We are a homeschool LDS family of 12! Glad I found your blog. I look forward to reading more!

  11. Thanks, mommx12! I'm happy to have you here-- it sounds like we have lots in common! :-)

  12. I am loving catcching up on all the love stories. What a beautiful one you have. :)

    (side note here, your updates don't show up in my reader...makes me sad. I am still trying to figure it out.)


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